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Sentinels modernise Europe's agricultural policy

25 May 2018

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In a move that could benefit around 22 million farmers, the EU's Common Agricultural Policy has entered the space age. Offering detailed and timely information on crops and farmland, the Copernicus Sentinels are now being used to simplify and modernise this longest-serving EU policy.

The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) came into force in 1962 to ensure affordable food for European citizens and a fair standard of living for farmers. While this philosophy remains at policy's heart, the focus is also now firmly on sustainability, environmental protection, biodiversity and the climate.

To address these issues, as well as to reduce bureaucracy and increase efficiency, the EU has been taking steps to reform the CAP. Recognising the huge potential of accurate and timely data provided by satellites, the EU turned to space.

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Sentinels modernise Europe's agricultural policy

25 May 2018

In a move that could benefit around 22 million farmers, the EU's Common Agricultural Policy has entered the space age. Offering detailed and timely information on crops and farmland, the Copernicus Sentinels are now being used to simplify and modernise this longest-serving EU policy.
Wheat harvestMonitoring crop growth

Sentinel-3B Timelapse: Preparing for Liftoff

23 May 2018

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This timelapse video shows the Sentinel-3B satellite being prepared for liftoff on 25 April 2018 from Plesetsk in Russia. Sentinel-3B joined its twin, Sentinel-3A, in orbit.

The pairing of identical satellites provides the best coverage and data delivery for Europe's Copernicus programme – the largest environmental monitoring programme in the world.

The satellites carry the same suite of cutting-edge instruments to measure oceans, land, ice and atmosphere.

Earth Topics (Applications)
  • Land
  • Vegetation


  • Snow and Ice
  • Sea Ice

    Instrument type
  • SAR
  • Mission
    Date of Launch:
    ERS-1 - 17 July 1991
    ERS-2 - 21 April 1995
    Mission Status:
    ERS-1 ended on March 2000 and ERS-2 September 2011 
    Orbit Height:
    782 to 785 km
    Orbit type:
    Near-circular, polar, Sun-synchronous
    Swath Width:
    5 km
    EOLI-SA availability
    ERS-1/2 - SAR Level 1 Precision Image Product
    (2712) recent views
    Last update: 10 April 2017

    The SAR Precision product is a multi-look (speckle-reduced), ground range image acquired in Image Mode. This product type is most applicable to users interested in remote sensing applications, but is also suitable for calibration purposes. The products are calibrated and corrected for the SAR antenna pattern and range-spreading loss. Radar backscatter can be derived from the products for geophysical modelling, but no correction is applied for terrain-induced radiometric effects. The images are not geocoded, and terrain distortion (foreshortening and layover) has not been removed.

    The numbering sequence relates to the satellite position and therefore differs between Ascending and Descending scenes. 


    Product characteristics
    Pixel size 12.5 m (range - across track) x 12.5 m (azimuth - along track)
    Scene area 100 km (range) x at least 102.5 km (azimuth)
    Scene size 8000 pixels range x at least 8200 lines (azimuth)
    Pixel depth 16 bits unsigned integer
    Total product volume ~ 125 MB
    Projection Ground-range
    Number of looks 3
    Data Set Specifications
    Spatial coverage: 82 N, 82 S, 180 W, 180 E
    Temporal coverage: 27-07-1991 - 04-07-2011
    Current Processor Version: PF-ERS / Envisat format
    Processing level
    Level 1
    How to access this data

    Data is available via EOLI-SA after registration for the (A)SAR On The Fly Service.

    For more details see the news article from 11 April 2017

    Terms & Conditions applicable
    Utilisation of this data is subject to ESA's Earth Observation Terms and Conditions
    Auxiliary data
    ERS-1 auxiliary data
    Available via SPPA
    ERS-2 auxiliary data
    Available via SPPA


    Envisat Format Product Specification


    ERS-1 SAR Sensor Performance, Products and Algorithms


    ERS-2 SAR Sensor Performance, Products and Algorithms


    Basic Envisat SAR Toolbox (BEST)


    Next ESA SAR Toolbox (NEST)


    Sentinel-1 Toolbox / Sentinel Application Platform (SNAP)


    Derivation of Backscattering Coefficient Sigma 0 in ESA ERS SAR PRI Products


    Review of the impact of the ERS-2 Piloting Modes on the SAR Doppler Stability


    More SAR Documents

    Swarm Charlie STR data issue from 07 May 2018

    25 May 2018

    An anomalous variation in the Inter Boresight Angle (IBA) for Camera Head Unit (CHU) pairs A-C and B-C has been observed for Swarm Charlie from 07 May 2018 at 09:34 UTC.

    All Swarm Charlie L1B and L2 Cat-2 data have been impacted by this anomaly.

    The issue will attempted to be resolved, so as to regenerate all the impacted L1B and L2 Cat-2 data.

    Mount Mayon, Philippines

    25 May 2018

    Web Content Image

    The Copernicus Sentinel-1B satellite takes us over one of the most active volcanos in the world: Mount Mayon on the island of Luzon in the Philippines.

    Luzon is the biggest island in the Philippines and home to most of the country's active volcanoes. This volcanism is associated with plate tectonic processes where the floor of the South China Sea is being drawn down into the mantle along the Manila Trench, which is to the west of the island. The image just shows part of the southern end of this large island, but features no less than five volcanoes.

    While Mount Mayon – the most southerly volcano in the image – is famous not only for being perfectly formed, but also for being one of the most active in the world, the other four volcanoes in the image are actually either dormant or extinct.Dubbed a perfect volcano because of its symmetry, Mount Mayon has a classical conical shape, built up by many layers of hardened lava. It erupts frequently with the most recent eruption occurring in January this year.

    This image was captured on 16 January 2018 and while satellite radar isn't typically used to detect hot lava flows, the way it has been processed reveals a pink line running down the southeast flank of the volcano that matches the flow of lava in optical images from satellites such as Sentinel-2. The predominant bright green in the image corresponds to vegetation, the lighter green and pink to towns and the blue to cultivated fields.

    While the Sentinel-1 radar mission is used for a myriad of everyday applications, it is also used to detect ground movement, which is essential for monitoring shifts from earthquakes and volcanic uplift.

    Mount Mayon
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    Swarm Post-Doc Research Fellowship at ESA/ESRIN

    24 May 2018

    The European Space Agency is pleased to announce a Post-Doc level career opportunity at ESA/ESRIN, Frascati (Rome), Italy on the scientific exploitation of the data from the Swarm constellation.

    Contracts will be for two years, with the possibility of renewal for one year. General information on the Research Fellowship program at ESA can be found here.

    Please note that applications are only considered from nationals of one of the following States: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Canada and Slovenia as well as Bulgaria, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia as European Cooperating States (ECS). 

    The deadline for applications is 11 June 2018.

    Websites maintenance - 21 May 2018

    17 May 2018

    Due to a planned maintenance activity, users may experience short interruptions of up to 1 minute which may potentially extend up to 10-15 minutes on Monday 21 May 2018, starting from 08:00 UTC.

    The following websites will be affected:

    Websites maintenance - 28 May 2018

    24 May 2018

    Due to planned maintenance activities on Monday 28 May 2018 starting from 10:00 CEST, users may experience short interruptions (up to 15 minutes) while navigating on the following web sites: